All 17 entries tagged Juggling

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May 16, 2008

Today

April 24: Today I completed my project report.
April 25: Today I helped write and record a short audiodrama.
April 26: Today I went round David’s with James W and played Worms.
April 27: Today Hennell told me how he accidentally got the internet to send someone thousands of dollars worth of flowers.
April 28: Today I learnt how to write games in Flash.
April 29: Today I mocked Tanya for playing Minesweeper for hours, and then even more when she displayed a total lack of understanding of the basic game mechanics.
April 30: Today I spent hours looking for one stupid little bug.
May 1: Today I watched Once Upon a Time in Mexico with Tanya and she loved it.
May 2: Today Jon and Ellie came round for a games night.
May 3: Today I started making a very simple Flash game.
May 4: Today our house was invaded by Christians.
May 5: Today I did not much of anything.
May 6: Today I juggled in the beautiful weather.
May 7: Today I was busy with revision lectures, discussing fourth year project ideas, a strange film and a console social. But none of it was memorable enough to mention here.
May 8: Today I went to the IGDA meeting in Leamington, where there was cheap alcohol.
May 9: Today I began making yet another physics-based game.
May 10: Today the game began to vaguely look like a game.
May 11: Today the WGD library conspired against us in every way imaginable, and Jen had her birthday party.
May 12: Today Leigh and I decided that we needed to just pick a project idea for our fourth year group project, and that as we were the ones doing the picking, we should do an awesome 3D physics engine with pluggable components.
May 13: Today we found some more people for our group, who unsurprisingly weren’t that keen on the idea of doing a hardcore physics engine.
May 14: Today the internet went down and it made everything sad.
May 15: Today I began revision.
May 16: Today I updated this for the first time in almost 5 months.

Vaguely inspired by a scene from Into the Wild, which I found to be an amazing and beautiful film.


October 05, 2007

Extreme Busyness

I am far too busy to write this entry, since I really should be in bed sleeping, so that tomorrow I can be up at/before 8:00 in the morning for the third day in a row.

But the world needs to know of my horrific struggles (and apparently I need to further avoid being productive and/or refuse to get sensible amounts of sleep):

  • By the weekend of the 13th, I need to have a complete Java game framework and an absolute beginner’s guide to programming (with games) written. If I don’t, then I let Warwick Game Design down and our first event is a terrible flop and it will all be my fault. P.S. join Warwick Game Design! We’re going to have an introduction to game making event and other cool stuff very soon, and it definitely won’t be a flop.
  • Within a week, the project specification for my horribly ambitious third year project needs to have been started, finished, and shown to my supervisor who is quite nice but I think already has a bad (but probably fair) impression of my work ethic.
  • I have an Assassins’ Guild website to make but the old webmaster let the site stop working completely and has now disappeared off the face of the earth. P.S. join the Assassins’ Guild—it’s great fun and I have so many stories from it. The idea is that you get assigned a target and are given their name, their course and where they live. Then you track them down and kill them with a water pistol or some more creative weaponry if you so choose. Of course, you have someone targeting you at the same time, so watch out for anyone looking suspicious.
  • I have a house full of people which means that I’m incapable of being remotely productive while I’m there.
  • I’ve bought a bike, which my leg muscles are already attempting to kill me for.
  • There’s no nearby supermarket and I have yet to even have the time to go shopping anyway.
  • I have been among the many caught out by the incompetence of the student loans company, by which I mean that I realised yesterday that I never applied for mine. I’m also very close to my overdraft limit, which temporarily reduced itself for no good reason at all.
  • I haven’t even had time to do any juggling other than at the juggling society meeting. And I’ve already lost one of my new juggling balls. P.S. join the Juggling Society! We can teach you many very cool tricks.
  • My laptop arrived, which you’d expect to be a good thing, but when I first booted into Windows, I got this screen. Of course, that wasn’t really so surprising. Ubuntu got hit by a particularly nasty bug, but thankfully someone else had found and posted a solution for me, so it didn’t require hours of work to fix.

August 10, 2007

Annoyed at myself

There’s so much stuff I could be doing. Things I’ve promised others that I’d do; things I’ve promised myself. Most of it would be pretty interesting, too. But I just want to escape it all and do… nothing. It’s just so easy to lose a day watching episode after episode of some TV show, or playing a game for hours on end. It’s like I have an aversion to working on interesting projects, and I must find some way to defeat it.

I have no such aversion to juggling (possibly because it comes under the category of wasting your time), but so far today I’ve managed to hit my nose and thumb painfully hard with flying clubs, and taken a nail-shaped chunk of skin off my finger.


May 20, 2007

One day closer to being able to unicycle

It was too windy for club juggling and too cold for ball juggling, so I spent most of yesterday’s juggling session attempting to unicycle. I’ve found a way of getting on that isn’t painful, which is nice, and my skill at getting on is only exceeded by my ability to fall off. I’m improving at the going forwards part too, but not nearly so fast.

What juggling I did do wasn’t great – James beat me at endurance (a competition of who can keep juggling the longest) 4 times out of 5, using 5 clubs against my 5 balls. Admittedly, James is an annoyingly good juggler, but I was doing much better on Thursday, learning to do 441 with clubs with the 1 behind the back and managing some good backcross throws too.

Later in the bar I actually talked to and learnt the name of one person who’s been coming for most of this year. I think I also got some people interested in the Assassins’ Guild, so hopefully that doesn’t die the horrible death it’s threatening to.

When it got dark we went outside to play with fire, and I did some fire juggling. You might call it that if you were feeling generous, anyway. More accurately, I threw some fire clubs about and made some generally successful attempts to catch them, once in a while trying to do a trick and failing completely.

I was only at the fire juggling for twenty minutes or so, because I had a birthday party in Earlsdon to get to. Which brings us neatly back to unicycles, because Ralph has one and insisted that we have a go in the very small space between his house and his garden. There wasn’t really enough space for my current learning tactic of “point yourself away from walls, fall off the front, and remember to keep pedalling while you do so”.

I didn’t see a huge amount of Ralph, despite it being his party. Hopefully he enjoyed himself (and didn’t feel too bad in the morning). I came home and had a cool dream about vampires (and a less cool one about siteswaps).


May 17, 2007

I like numbers which don't have an odd prime factor

I must have walked more than 6 miles last Friday – to and from campus twice with heavy things like my PS2 and my juggling stuff, and into Earlsdon for Jen’s party and back (and I later dreamt that I walked there and back again to climb a tree). And also spent 3 or 4 hours in the middle not being able to sit down, while teaching people to juggle and falling off a unicycle (not both at the same time – falling off a unicycle requires both hands for flailing purposes).

The party was good. There were some great scenarios, like “shoes tell lies and socks tell the truth” and “boys are friendly and caring; girls are cold and mean”. And I had fun making a tiny card out of paper (with an envelope too) after Jen commented that several of her cards had the same general image on them. Of course, talented artist that I am, my card design was obviously greatly superior.

I spent a lot of Sunday trying to fix my Gallery installation after what should have been a simple 2 minute change instead broke everything. Wanting to move the directory it was installed in, I should have disabled the URL Rewrite module before doing anything. Like it said in the FAQ which I didn’t read until too late. And so, wanting to avoid having to undo and redo something exceedingly simple, I made my life ten times harder by ploughing on anyway.

It also didn’t help that I was confusing the data directory and the code directory. I ended up installing a newer version and pointing it at the older version’s data, but it seemed to get confused by the URL Rewrite module, which refused to work, and stopped everything else from working also. The moral of this story is to read the documentation before you start doing something, not during.

A lot of today has been spent reading this thread in its entirety. Time well spent.


May 11, 2007

Chapter 18, in which I talk about mundane topics

Since getting back, I’ve been kept fairly busy with coursework, but no longer. It’s all done, leaving nothing to do for the next month except watch TV, make games and juggle, with maybe some revision thrown in at the end if there’s time. Maybe.

And then at the end of that month, I’ll have 11 exams in 11 days, and the exams will take pity on me for being totally unprepared and make themselves easier for my sake. This is how it will happen; I’m sure of it.

I’ve been watching a lot of Heroes, and might be able to catch up to everyone else before the final episodes air next Monday. The last several episodes have ended in some of the most cruel (but awesome) cliffhangers.

I went to a juggling convention last weekend. Attended a unicycling workshop, meaning I am now even more skilled at falling off. Also attended a workshop on continuous backcrosses with clubs (where every club is thrown from behind your back). It basically turned into, “Continuous backcrosses are hard. It’ll take you months to even get close. Now here’s a large variety of tricks that are easier than continuous backcrosses.” And all of those tricks were also ridiculously hard from my current level of ability.


April 12, 2007

What time is it? Now.

I met up with Mairead and Pete today, which was nice. I also made a friend called Pablo, who may or may not have stolen a 15p padlock from Wilkinson’s.

The past week’s been quite busy; I’ve seen almost every member of my extended family, been to Diggerland (where there are hundreds of diggers, all under one metaphorical roof), climbed a tree, and seen a musical starring (in a non-starring manner) my cousin. I’ve also played a small amount of Twilight Princess, and am likely to remain 5 rupees away from getting the Magic Armour until I return for the summer holidays.

Back to Coventry tomorrow, and then going to Nottingham either Friday or Saturday (I should probably decide that fairly soon) for the British Juggling Convention. Then on Sunday I’ll be back in Coventry ready to start working on the Problem Solving assignment due in on the first day of term.

Club juggling has been improving nicely. On Monday I managed to do a few tricks for the first time. Ball juggling going less well – I think my five ball pattern has gone downhill due to not enough practising.


April 03, 2007

Miscellaneous thoughts

I just realised that I don’t have enough time to finish Twilight Princess before going back to university, and I may not get any chances to meet up with people either. I’m at family events for four days next week, and then going home next Thursday, leaving only 4 free days. Where did the past two and a half weeks go?

I’ve started watching Heroes, and it’s very good so far. But the start of the second episode had the most ridiculously over-the-top voiceover I have ever heard and I’m really hoping it never appears again.

I’m remembering that learning juggling tricks is a frustrating process. Before you can even get close to being able to do whatever you’re trying to learn, you need to try over and over again. It seems like you’re not getting anywhere and that you might as well give up. Eventually, you manage to almost do it, which gives you a short burst of confidence, but then you need to keep trying for a while before managing to do it properly. Then you need to practice until you can do it fairly often, and then if you want to really show off you need to practice a whole load more until you can do it pretty much every time. Totally worth it, though.

My brother Ian is still his own worst enemy.

I spent 2 hours 19 minutes playing this game while I should have been sleeping last night. Some clever puzzles; I enjoyed it a lot. Can you beat my time? And while I’m mentioning games, Jumper is good but very annoying. Enigma is still far too addictive for me to be allowed to play it.


March 10, 2007

Juggling for fun and profit (or charity)

I’d agreed to do some juggling for a busking festival today. I had expected that I’d just be there on my own, entertaining whoever might walk past—it was not so.

There was a whole crowd there, which was quite daunting. Especially since I knew that I had a limited number of tricks, and had been relying on people passing through not being able to notice when I did exactly the same trick five minutes later. But even though it seemed highly repetitive to me, it seemed to go down well. I even thought up a new trick and managed to do it at least twice; although since it’s not very flashy, it’s quite likely that nobody noticed/cared.

In the end, I think I juggled for about 15 minutes at a time, three times. After I’d gotten used to the audience, I got quite into it. So much so, that I was still juggling at 4:00 when Jen phoned me, and I had to dash across campus to her presentation about the Four Colour Theorem.

The group project is not as far along as it should be. It’s due in on Thursday and the implementation still isn’t finished. And once it is, there’s a large amount of writing to be done about it.

Collision detection is still really hard.


February 07, 2007

Programming stuffs

Worked some more on Operation Meltdown. Apparently, last time I did that, I was rewriting the input handling. I left it after removing the old code but before adding the new code, so you had a totally non-interactive view of people wandering around a power station. Fixed that, and also added the code to do something when you die. It won’t be very much work now to re-add the introduction text and the explosion drawing.

I also joined one of the VGDSoc projects. I added water, which currently looks like white squares spawning next to other white squares. Unfortunately, sometimes the water level on one square decides to increase and increase and increase, totally ignoring my clever code to spread to adjacent squares if they have a lower level of water. I never knew that fountains were a natural phenomenon…

Killed the Chief Inquisitor of the current Assassins’ Guild game yesterday, making me Corrupt and a valid target for all ten or so people playing. The turnout for Assassins’ Guild things has been exceptionally poor this term. I think we need to advertise on Facebook – I met one of James’s friends from home recently and he’s taking part in Loughborough’s first Assassins’ Guild game. Apparently it has about 70 people playing, and was mostly advertised through Facebook.

Went to Chocfest, the only juggling convention to combine chocolate cake and juggling. I won the highly prestigious last place prize in the Chocfest Chocolate Cake Competition with my cake that sort of looks like a mutated cookie but inside is fudgey but I was hoping it wouldn’t be. Got some good (and painful) club juggling done as well.


New blog location

After a hiatus of several years, I’ve started blogging again at blog.draknek.org.

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